War with JPE could hurt Trillanes: Maceda

Posted at 09/27/12 9:02 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Former senator Ernesto Maceda believes reelectionist Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV should not rest easy in his reelection bid now that he has gone to war against Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.

Speaking to ANC, Maceda said Trillanes’ high ranking in the latest Pulse Asia survey of potential Senate bets does not yet reflect the impact of the senator’s recent spat with Enrile.

“We cannot yet assess what this debate with Manong Johnny is going to do to his chances. There are some people who say it is negative for him but we don’t know,” he said in an interview.

Trillanes earlier accused Enrile of being a lackey of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo for supporting a bill that will split Camarines Sur.

Enrile, in turn, questioned Trillanes’ role as backchannel negotiator to China at the height of the tensions over Scarborough Shoal.

In the interview, Maceda warned that Trillanes’ chances will not be helped after Enrile called him a “traitor, coward and a phantom of the opera.”

He noted Enrile vowed to campaign against Trillanes next year.

“He wants to expose the character of the person to the electorate. He was directly challenged and told to his face that you don’t deserve my respect, my trust and confidence. In effect, you don’t deserve to be Senate President. It’s a declaration of war and any man worth his salt is not going to take that lying down,” he said.

Maceda said at least 6 re-electionists are already assured of victory in next year’s polls. A Pulse Asia survey earlier showed Senators Loren Legarda, Francis Escudero and Alan Peter Cayetano as topping the list of possible Senate winners.

Other re-electionists that made it to the top 12 are Senators Trillanes (6-10), Gringo Honasan (6-10), Koko Pimentel (6-10) and Juan Miguel Zubiri (6-11).

Other candidates that made it to the Top 12 list are San Juan Rep. JV Ejercito (3-5), Cagayan Rep. Juan Ponce Enrile Jr. (3-5), Aurora Rep. Edgardo “Sonny” Angara (6-11), Las Pinas Rep. Cynthia Villar (9-11) and Nancy Binay (12-15).

Three candidates also have a statistical chance of breaking into the Top 12. They are former senators Richard Gordon (12-16), Ramon “Jun” Magsaysay Jr. (12-16) and Jamby Madrigal (12-17).